Interview with Elizabeth Gaines


Welcome back. I've got a list with gains on the line elizabeth. How are you. I'm doing well michael. How are you today. I am awesome looking forward to this conversation. We're going to dive right into burn out We both work in the space completely. Different approaches on our experiences but with one common goal that burn out is a horrible thing. And we've seen it destroy lives and impact so many including ourselves so tell us a little bit about your back story in. Why burn out such an important cause for you and then we'll dive into some things that we can do to alleviate burnt out with the people we care about in organizations and individuals absolutely so I have my own Horrific burnout story. I was working as an executive assistant. And i was working in the fields of domestic minor sex trafficking victim rehabilitation and discovered that Being an ea has a unique signature of stress and I also had very poor ability to generate my own self love so working in kind of an extreme field. I realized as a way to kind of look at myself as a worthy human being at the end of the day and as it turns out you cannot work hard enough to replace your own self love. So i had a terrible episode of burn out where it started off as just really unmotivated ends depressed and apathetic and you when you start to feel that way. You think it's your issue in you. Think okay have to mindset my way out of this and so i did years of mindset work moving. You know injured. It's time it was brutal. Came out the other side of it and still felt like crap because in the end those deficits were actually physical. They were subclinical. So when you go to the doctor you can't really recognize that but they were absolutely physical and you can't mindset your way out of actual physical deficit so once i addressed those actual physical deficits. That's when i was able to fully recover from burnout and by my joy and motivation again. Yes so much. The mind when i was burned out as an executive. So here we are. Ea executive although never worked with each other but It it's interesting on how burnout can impact you based on what type of role you're in and the drive and in the momentum and the mission vision values basically of what you do in your roles can really create some interesting scenarios and we've talked before on this. I feel that an executive is only as strong as ea. If they're ea is really good and you understand and work well together and understand all the nuances about being able to do the job It makes for such an easier role and does reduce the level stress. If everybody's on the same page and you understand how each of you tick in also workflows and to work and when not to but even if you do have a great relationship with executive the pressure and the stress of the e a role which is in many cases the internal faced the organization because you're the gatekeeper For internal in often external forces. So i'm top of doing all your normal jobs. You basically have to be the bouncer outside the club in order to let you know somebody in to the club to meet with the boss and and represent the boss while doing that. Right so everything is out of. Your mouth is scrutinized and in held up to a standard. That isn't your own exactly exactly. It's in an understanding what the executives purposes and especially if they're not clear and i know many executives love them but they're not necessarily the clear clearest person when it comes to where they stand on certain things and they call them wishy washy but they. It's hard to gauge and as an knee. A if you don't understand what direction they're gonna go in your guesses as good as mine. I don't know how they're going to respond to this. And that's no way to operate because it makes your job even harder. Yeah it's a huge degree of and big you ity and gauging nonverbal signals and a whole lot of intuition and empathic judgment goes into that when you have to anticipate a person rather than a work product work products have very clear benchmarks of success and failure but people change on a dime people get an email. The tire priorities for the days. Maybe the week the month shift in. It's it's very unpredictable in that way so special signature of stress. Client that Of doing some work with they sent an email little while ago on something. And i looked at it and i could have allowed it to derail out my plans for that particular initiative. But i've thought nope i'm gonna pause on that. I'm a look at that in the afternoon. And i already have made a decision that i'm not gonna let that email change the direction of what we're doing on that particular project. Because of an outside party you know asking for it sooner than they should be getting it. Basically without going into too many details. No we're not going to do that because by then then you know basically turns everybody upside down like okay. Stop what you're doing do this instead and then you then they're constantly firefighting mode and again. That's her prolonged stress can lead into burn out absolutely absolutely. It's just sort of reactionary mode which from a scientific perspective keeps you in sympathetic response which is fight flight when the only way that we can be in rest and relax is when we are proactive when we are planning our future when we are saying these are the steps that we're gonna take and that's a very relaxed state where we have all of our faculties but when we're in fights flight we only have access to a certain amount of logic and reason basically the brain is really funneling. What you what you're able to take in and process because it needs to keep the channels clear for surviving and so when we're in fight flight. We don't have the ability to think to poor. Think we can't think about the future we can't think ten steps ahead. We can only think about right now and the stress level that goes along with that is incredibly high

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